Violet & Daisy (2011)

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I don’t know what this movie was trying to say because it was definitely trying to say something. And on the off chance that it wasn’t trying to say something then it was just a garbage movie. Something about gender or youth or values or maybe race? I legitimately do not know.

I thought Violet & Daisy – written and directed by the guy who made Precious - was going to kind of kick ass or be super clever or something. In the end, it came off like one of the scripts a guy in my screenwriting class who really loves Quentin Tarantino would have written. A little eccentric with violence and some sort of blanket statement about something.  And then there were some actors who are capable of quality acting (not sure about Alexis Bledel, though…) delivering their lines like the most amateur amateurs around.

I don’t know if I was supposed to buy these two girls droppin’ their g‘s from all of their words whenever they were talkin’. They were workin’ with some strange phrasin’ and some speech that seemed like it was comin’ out of a totally different era. It didn’t hit its mark at all.

Writing this, I’m finding I don’t even know what to say. The movie left me feeling a bit miffed. I don’t recommend it. Not even a little bit. The premise was cool, but it was all fucked. If someone can explain the redeeming qualities of this movie, I would love it.

Bye.

* star for Saoirse Ronan looking beautiful and a cool wardrobe. Otherwise, nope. Don’t.

Everyone, Stop What You’re Doing – This is a Real Movie

There is a movie coming out and it’s called Homefront.

It stars Jason Statham. James Franco. Winona Ryder. And a child.

Jason Statham is a British agent that works for the DEA in America. Jason’s daughter kicks some kid’s ass at school after he bullies her. Kid’s mom sends in the dad, James Franco, who is also a druglord, to terrorize Jason Statham. Jason Statham hulks out. Jason Statham’s daughter is kidnapped. Movie turns into Taken.

This movie was written by Sylvester fucking Stallone.

You guys, I need it like air.

 

Man of Steel (2013)

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It’s been a minute guys/bots/spammers. Sorry about it. I’ve been busy, lifein’ it up, making (not enough) money, meeting human beings. I’ve watched a lot of movies that I just haven’t even reviewed. We’ll see if I can get in some belated reviews sometime in the not-too-heinously-distant future.

Moving on. Man of Steel. Honestly? Mediocre. This is the thing about a lot of the superhero movies that have been coming out in the last few years: it seems the new thing is to make these complex, tortured superheroes that are more than just amazing abilities. They’re real and they have issues. The movies are always so moody.

But at the same time, they’re comic book characters. I think so many of these movies fall short because they spend so much time really trying to balance the two. I either want to have a super fun romp, where people get beat up and shoot laser beams out of their eyeballs or whatever. Or I want to see a story about a guy who has issues – family, love, personal, whatever – who happens to have super strength.

When it comes down to it, shouldn’t I be rooting for someone? When I was watching Man of Steel I just didn’t even care. I didn’t care if anyone died. I didn’t care if anyone lived. I didn’t care who won or who lost. It was just so incredibly predictable and mostly bland. I was most compelled with the young instances of Clark Kent dealing with his gift/curse.

(I take that back. I did care at one point. I was going to lose my shit if anything happened to that dog.)

Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to watch. Good effects, cool costumes, an awesome mini-Battlestar Galactica reunion, and Henry Cavill is painfully good looking. Otherwise? Meh.

People really seem to be raving about Michael Shannon’s portrayal of Zod. I wasn’t that impressed, which sucks because I like him and think he’s kind of a terrifying man.

And Lois Lane? It was just a bunch of bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, I’d want to jump his bones, too, but to expect me to believe that she was ~*~in love~*~ with Superman? What, because he saved her? It’s a fucked up, almost the opposite of Stockholm Syndrome trope. Immediately, I think of Lois Lane, Mary Jane Watson, and whatever Natalie Portman’s character’s name was in Thor. All these women just losing their shit because a man – or anyone – uses their superpowers to save them? Please.

** stars

Only God Forgives (2013)

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Listen, I wasn’t all that into Drive. It just wasn’t for me. I thought it was boring and as much as I love Ryan Gosling (and love to look at him), I didn’t think he was especially great in it.

And I thought the same thing about Only God Forgives. Visually, enjoyable. There were some really beautifully shot scenes. It was incredibly violent which I’m always up for. But I swayed between feeling a bit tense, being incredibly bored, and rolling my eyes.

I reflected, I did some theory reading. Sure, there’s some somewhat interesting symbolism (God/The Devil/the sinner) in there. There’s some incestuous/Oedipal (under)tones. But it just feels so empty. It feels like it’s trying so hard to make all of these capital-P points that it just ends up being nothing. All of these symbols and all of these metaphors – I mean, the colors, the spaces used, the dialogue – are just there. And that’s all.

A lot of people seem to be taking issue with the level of violence and vulgarity in Only God Forgives, but that really didn’t bother me. I like to think that I can appreciate a fair amount of artiness in movies but this movie just didn’t deliver. I prefer Drive to it but I still don’t like Drive. And frankly, I’d like to know what the direction is for Gosling. I think Refn just tells him to stare at things for as long as possible.

And I’m really pissed about how much of a let down this movie was because I watched this precise trailer for the movie earlier today and I was fucking prepped to be blown away. That minute and a half is so much better than the hour and a half long movie. I think a lot of that can be attributed to the song “2020″ by Suuns, though.

* star

Admission (2013)

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Y’know, sometimes a movie has so much going for it that it’s bound to be a letdown. The kind of movie where you see the cast and then the writer and/or director and you feel like you’re maybe having a heart attack but you know that’s highly unlikely because you’re only 23 and you’re just sitting in bed? And then you watch it a year later and you’re left feeling very “meh”? That happened with Admission.

I’m a single, straight, red-blooded woman so yeah, I’ve got the hots for Paul Rudd. And I have since I saw Clueless when I was about nine years old. This means I’ll see roughly…100% of the movies he’s in. And I like Tina Fey, too. But not the way I love Paul Rudd.

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It was just okay. I had a couple of laugh smiles (not funny enough to merit a laugh, but just funny enough for me to smile sans teeth) and there were about two moments that I thought were er…touching but it just fell short.

I’m only recommending this movie to those people who just want to see Paul Rudd saying new things and making new faces. And if you’ve proclaimed undying loyalty to Tina Fey. Otherwise, skip it.

* star (that seems way harsh, Tai. But I can’t mislead the people.)

Grabbers (2012)

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The plot of Grabbers is this: a small town in Ireland suddenly finds itself being attacked by blood sucking, many-legged alien sea creatures. The town then comes to the realization that the only way to survive the attacks is to get drunk.

I was all about this movie for a few reasons: I’m a sucker for just about anything from the UK and I love a good horror comedy (Shaun of the Dead, Tucker & Dale vs Evil…you know what I mean). That aside, the movie was enjoyable. It wasn’t quite on par with the movies I just mentioned but it was 90 minutes well spent!

Acting? Good. Special effects? Pretty good. I actually loved the big male monster. That motherfucker barreling toward me would probably just make me drop dead. I was afraid the movie would be extremely cheesy – focus more on people being shitfaced than the actual plot. But they did an excellent job of balancing the two.

I don’t have a strong desire to wax poetic about this movie nor is it the kind of movie to merit such a thing. If you’re into horror comedy, you’ll probably dig it. I will say – even as someone who watches a lot of programming from the UK so I’m pretty good with understanding somewhat thick accents – there were a couple of characters that were damn near impossible to understand. So set up some subtitles and settle in.

Maybe grab some alcohol. The movie pretty much calls for it.

*** stars

Redemption (2013)

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Behold! Another Jason Statham movie watched by yours truly. Surely you’re not surprised. Yes, I spent the afternoon watching Redemption (also known as Hummingbird) and being…I think pleasantly surprised.

It’s not Crank. It’s not Transporter. And frankly, I liked that. It was moody. It was almost Noir-ish. Jason Statham gets his life together to do the right thing (well, I guess you could say it’s the right thing.) He aims to be a good man. Most importantly, he spends most of his time in the movie acting as opposed to beating the shit out of people.

In fact, if you only want to see Jason Statham beating the shit out of people, just re-watch any other one of his movies. He only has a few scenes in which he’s being violent. Otherwise, he’s brooding and planning and wearing fancy suits (drool, amiright?). His character is an Afghanistan War veteran suffering from PTSD, living/surviving in London.

It wasn’t great nor does it have a ton of re-watch quality (though I would sheerly for Jason suit porn. I can’t help it) but I think it’s worth a viewing. He’s really not a bad actor, the plot is interesting and isn’t totally predictable. Also, it doesn’t pussyfoot around. It certainly exceeded my expectations in actual watchability.

*** stars